Many people wonder how modern societies can engage in more dialogue and value diversity. By taking on a personal commitment to this, the following are a few tips to get started.
Advisor: Daniela Betancur González – Psychologist, specialist in Clinical Psychology and Mental Health
When it comes to thinking about creating more inclusive societies that value dialogue, are diverse and live together peacefully, there is no need to look beyond yourself, as this journey starts within each person. Those who know and communicate well with themselves understand that there are other ways of being, thinking, feeling and expressing. As the psychologist Daniela Betancur González explains, a leader of the Personal Expansion program at Colegiatura Colombiana, there are certain overarching pillars that apply to our family, school and work lives, and everything related to our personal lives, that help us develop as humans.
Take care of your closest relation- ship
The relationships you form with your parents, partners, friends and co-workers are based on the relationship you have with yourself. It is important to ask yourself the following questions: What messages do I send myself? How do I process my emotions? How much do I support myself? How much do I forgive, love and respect myself? When you have a conflictive relationship with others, ask yourself: “What is going on with that person?” Because you get what you give.
When you love yourself enough, you can accept others
If a father demonstrates that he does not value himself enough through his actions, how could he be a good example for his child? When you love yourself in a healthy way, you can love others in the same way. When you listen to yourself, you listen to others. “When you focus on yourself from a place of ego, you deny others. The ego likes to win, be right, and only thinks about itself. Love, on the other hand, is supportive, isn’t controlling and doesn’t judge.”
Observe your thoughts
You choose how you act, what you feel and what thoughts you will discuss. What does this mean? “Sometimes we believe that we are what we think, and that this defines who we are. Sometimes you can have negative and restrictive thoughts and believe that’s who you are. But you are not what you think; your being is what feels,” explains psychologist Daniela Betancur. Our thoughts and intelligence are the tools we should use to our benefit.
Emotions are messages
We are emotional beings. When babies are born, they express emotions, and their mothers understand them through love. When you learn that these forms of expression are not enemies, you can flow with them. Many people ignore their sadness or anger or look for solutions to them outside of themselves. What happens if I listen to them? What are they trying to say to me? It is important to receive and learn from them, as they are part of life.
Let your creativity flow
All the activities we do as humans are full of creativity. Without this innate, inevitable and universal ability, we would not be able to learn or do anything. Creativity allows us to come up with different solutions. It helps us be more flexible in how we think, open ourselves up to different ways of seeing the world, relate to each other, live our lives, and understand others who each have their own unique story.
We are abundant by nature
Abundance is not exclusively about having. Traditionally, we have followed the model of doing in order to have, and once you have, then you are complete. Through these pillars, the suggestion is that “We are all already complete. We make do with what we have. The question lies in how much abundance you feel you have or if you always feel you are living in scarcity. Are you waiting to buy a house to feel happy?”
If children are not allowed to express emotions, when they become adults, they won’t know how to process them. If a child is crying, and they are given a cell phone, they will not be able to experience their emotion. They shouldn’t be distracted from it because emotions are human.
Pay attention to your life purpose
We each have the natural-born right to discover what our main purpose in life and vocation is. True success comes when you discover who you are and express yourself by being of service to society. There is not just one form of success; there are just as many forms as there are people in the world. Being frustrated about success comes from comparing ourselves with others, “We don’t have to be better than everybody. We just have to be the best version of ourselves,” Betancur states.
Take care of yourself
How do we take care of what we inhabit: our bodies? When you go to the gym, do you do it for yourself or for social acceptance? What if we accepted ourselves for who we are, and nourished ourselves or exercised consciously? Nowadays, social networks generate the feeling that “Everyone is happy, but me. Everyone has the perfect body, but me. Be careful of the information you take in, which can be very frustrating when you’re not ready to differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t.”
You see education as something that is for all
By knowing that education is what helps bring out the best of each person, you allow yourself to understand that it doesn’t make sense to compete with others. Education is a process by which you support others to find themselves, using the tools that each person has to deal with life. In this sense, both parents and teachers are educators, but so are physicians who treat their patients.
You are committed to your happiness
When you are able to understand and improve upon these pillars, you may experience a feeling of happiness, which is different from a permanent sense of joy, from getting approval and from having it all. Happiness is about being in complete alignment with who you are. Those who find alignment between what they think, what they do, what they feel and what they say, are those who find happiness.
Related: Where happiness comes from?